BRATTLEBORO -- Rocky Balboa did it when preparing for fights. Guinness record holder Frank Oliveri did it for nearly 32 hours straight. And you probably did it Double Dutch with your friends at one time while singing out famous chants starting with "Cinderella dressed in yellow" or "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees."
The Vernon Tornadoes, who do it from October to the end of February, will be jumping rope at Castleton State College today for the school’s Physical Education majors.
"When the team travels to other schools, they not only put on a 35-minute performance, they also follow the performance with a workshop in which they teach other kids jump rope skills," said Tornadoes jump-roping coach Kelly Derosia.
The Tornadoes had 14 total demonstrations scheduled this season, including past performances at 11 different elementary schools in New England, today’s event at Castleton State, the team’s annual Home Show on Feb. 15 from 1:30-6:30 p.m., and an exhibition during the Brattleboro Winter Carnival on Feb. 18.
After putting on a show at Lee Elementary School in Massachusetts, Derosia’s squad received a letter from the Physical Education teachers there that reads, "Your performance was so impressive and your team so disciplined, we can hardly believe they are of elementary age!" It goes on to say, "Please pass along our big thanks and again tell them how much we appreciate you coming to our school."
There are currently 58 jumpers on the Tornadoes, ranging from grades 2-6. They practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays before school, from 7:15-8 a.m.
"It is truly amazing to watch these kids," stated Derosia. "The program teaches them work ethic, perserverance, and teamwork while improving their strength, agility and physical well being. It also allows them the opportunity to teach others and use their interpersonal skills all while having fun."
Tornadoes roster: Coaches -- Kelly Derosia, Chris Nesbitt. Parent volunteers -- Emily Vergobbe, Gina Pattison, Jessica Butterfield, Shelly Harvey. Grades 2-3 team members -- Jack Pattison, Aaron Petrie, Zoe Kritsas, Lauren Carpenter, Ryan Bird, Sam Mattocks, Taylor Mayhew, Alyssa Batts, Jennelle Harvey, Hannah Perlberg, Josh McKenney, Whitney Dunkley, Ella Chisholm, Deagan Gundry, Sage Parker, Maura Dempsey, Turner Clews, Joey Scherlin, Jacob Therrien. Grades 4-6 team members -- Captains: Hailey Derosia, Lauren McKenney, Maddy Belliveau Falvey, Kelsey Kissell. Andrew Bird, Isaiah Squires Garvin, Taylor Chamberlin, Scott Perlberg, Wyatt Keith, Camden Haskins, Tyler Millerick, Noah Keith, Julie Hendricks, Maggie Lonardo, Kayla O’Neil, Ella Reilly, Kylee Smith, Annalise Truncale, Joe Koes, Nikolas Kritsas, Aliyah Kimball, Luke Missale, Kasey Harrison, Sarah Butterfield, Signe Kuusinen, Matt Sorenson, Genavie Cobb, Chris Dempsey, Nina Belliveau Falvey, Gabby Chisamore, Ryan Fletcher, Austin Haskins, Natalie Hendricks, Maddy Mayhew, Reagan Shippee, Robby Vergobbe, Ryan Gerard.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.